A cluster of Andover manufacturing companies benefited recently from a day of networking and sharing of ideas at the latest in a regular series of such events.
Hosted by Custom Interconnect Ltd (CIL), a number of companies were treated to a display of modern technology last month at the Manufactured in Andover event, which is supported by Test Valley Borough Council.
Companies attending included Bowyer Engineering, Preformed Line Products, Multax Ltd., R & B Industrial, Stannah Stairlifts and Vitacress. The group also heard all about the new EU-funded Manufacturing Growth Programme which provides expert support (and funding) for manufacturing businesses including a number in Andover.
Economic development and tourism portfolio holder, councillor David Drew, said: “Manufacturing is a very significant part of Andover’s economy. We have many leading companies, perfectly illustrated by Custom Interconnect, which trades on the international stage and employs a highly skilled workforce.
“The council keenly supports local businesses like these, whether through the Andover Skills Fund or the Manufactured in Andover group, which is aimed at operations staff and seeks to share best practice.”
Custom Interconnect’s managing director, John Boston, added: “CIL moved to Andover in 1997 and has grown steadily since that time. However in the last 2-3 years we have grown by nearly 80 per cent and business is very strong both with UK based customers and also overseas customers.
“Over the same period the headcount has increased from 85 persons to the current 139 persons and we still have multiple vacancies open. Nearly all of the extra 55 staff have been recruited from the Andover and Test Valley area and we will continue this trend. We class ourselves as a high technology electronics company and we manufacture highly complex electronic assemblies. To stay ahead of technology, we have invested heavily in modern ‘state of the art’ manufacturing equipment.
“We are happy to be part of the Manufactured in Andover group and share our experiences, as well as learning from others within the area.”